I love to ride roller-coasters — especially metal coasters. The rip-rolling, rail-ringing turns are a thrill that reminds me just how alive I am. I recognize that it’s not everyone’s favorite thing, but you can’t get to the roaring rails without the ubiquitous “click-clack” at the start. As a coaster jerks into motion and it rolls to the bottom of that first seemingly insurmountable hill, there’s a sense of thrill. But then comes the monotonous click-clack again.
The thing is, every “click” along that track is necessary to move the carts forward. It’s not the “fun” part. It’s not a thrill-ride… yet. But every step along the way has to be taken to get to the parts we enjoy the most. If you take out one of those clicks of the ratchet mechanism, at best the ride stops. At worst, things go horribly wrong. When you pause and consider it, we place a tremendous amount of trust in the engineers, the welders, the maintenance people, the conductors… We “walk” trusting them, and it’s an image for me of our walking by faith in Christ Jesus who leads us.
The ministry that our God has called us to undertake has ups and downs, too. It has seasons and times when we have to decide if we’re going to get back on and go another round. There are moments of thrill and wonder, and times when we’re not sure about all this. When we love this wild ride Jesus has us on, we tell others about the experiences. Things are really rolling, our numbers are high, and lives are changed. Others get on board to join us. Then we introduce the ride to our children, so they can discover the thrill and wonder of God’s hand at work and the joy of His plan working out.
In this Faith Campaign, we’re in the midst of those initial clicks… those initial steps. But for us to get where our God is taking us, every single one of them counts. Every. Single. One. Maybe it seems like a bigger roller coaster than we thought we were signing up for. Yet as we are telling the story, others are drawn in. They’re infected by our enthusiasm for the amazing places God will take us and the awe of knowing that He’s the conductor and has all of this in His control. He has designed His plan so that we get to take all these steps together. All the steps matter, and all the people taking them matter, too. Every. Single. One.
I’m excited to be on this ride with all of you. I look around and see the coaster carts filled with young and old, all going on the same trip. Certainly, there will be the low-valley times when we can’t quite see what’s next. There will also be those thrilling moments when we see the wonder of greater things than we could ask or imagine. Jesus says, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”. May you see this journey as a joy, a wonder, a thrill that requires faith — not in fallible people operating metal machinery, but in a God who has given us a Savior and called us to tell the world about this amazing walk of faith and hope and life and love! If you’re not on, climb on! The ride is going to be AMAZING!